The real problem with Melbourne FC – footy news week 05

Footy is… controversial.

Melbourne sack a CEO because he didn’t man up on his opponent on Saturday night and his game plan meant the team lost by 148 points. The AFL advise a coach to stand down because he took some injections that may or may not have been performance enhancing if he were a player. Two big news stories that couldn’t go unmentioned in a footy news week.



The highlight

Some good news for the Melbourne football club in a very dark week – they have finally got their own training ground. Yes, Melbourne have just received a hand me down training oval, taking over Gosch’s Paddock from Collingwood on Friday after the Pies moved to their new $13 million oval at the old Olympic park site. Melbourne now doesn’t have to share the training field next to AAMI Park with Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Victory.



The lowlight

Fox Footy putting Adelaide’s Ricky Henderson’s private parts on live TV via the changeroom cameras. The camera really did seem to linger after it was pretty clear what was being shown. Hopefully this has put the kibosh on Channel 7’s controversial shower cam idea I was hearing whispers about as a new part of the mega wall in the second half of 2013. Actually what has happened to the mega wall? Such a great innovation….



The unbelievable

Melbourne have lost their first two games of the season by 227 points which is eerily similar to 1996 when Melbourne lost its first 2 games by 221 points (Rd 1 lost to Geelong by 127 points, Rd 2 lost to Collingwood by 94 points) on its way to finishing the season in 14th place. At the end of the 1996 season the Melbourne members voted in favour of a merger with Hawthorn – voting themselves out of existence in their own right. Hmmm is that an option again in 2013?

Anyway I feel that people aren’t getting to the real heart of the issues with Melbourne.

Yes, the club seemingly can’t develop any of the procession of first round draft picks that have fallen into their lap into decent AFL standard players despite having 15 rising star nominations in the last 5 years.

Yes, they have let go, discarded or had leave a string of players to other clubs over the past couple of years. Brent Maloney & Stefan Martin (Brisbane) Matthew Warnock (Gold Coast), Cale Morton (West Coast), Jared Rivers (Geelong), Jordan Gysberts (North Melbourne), Ricky Pettard (Richmond) and Tom Scully (GWS)

Yes. they have cut short the careers of many stalwarts and club leaders including the shocking handling of club captain James McDonald as well as Brad Green, Russel Robertson, and even Cameron Bruce, Adam Yze, Jeff White – none of whom could be said to have finished their careers on great terms with the club.

Yes, their recruiting appears completely misguided shipping out the players mentioned above to bring in journeyman, nearly there, never were and VFL standard players. David Rodan, Shanon Byrnes, Tom Gillies and Cameron Pederson to name a few. Recruiting players from other clubs is fine but sometimes the old rule of thumb of recruiting blokes who can play 100 games for you is a good idea.


But the real issues to me are three:

1. The location of the Melbourne Football Club Shop.

It’s at the MCG but my guess is 99% of people who have ever been to the MCG would have no idea where it s and would have never even walked past it. The Melbourne Shop is located on Brunton Avenue underneath the concourse that wraps around the Southern Stand. The shop is located next to the driveway for the MCG’s underground carpark and the delivery entry for the stadium. This is what is holding Melbourne back. How can you be a great club if you can’t even sell footy jumpers with Jack Watt’s number on them to your fans on a match day because your fans can’t find your shop? The only people who currently see the Melbourne shop on a visit to the MCG are delivery drivers!


2. The logo

The Melbourne logo: Southern Cross added to apeal to bogans?
The Melbourne logo: Southern Cross added to apeal to bogans?

The current logo is complicated, messy and unclear on what it is trying to achieve (why are there flames coming out of the M?) – a bit like Melbourne’s recruitment policy! *boom tish* What is needed is a simple bold design and a simple Latin phrase: celebrare mediocritatem. I’ll let you guess what that could mean 

3. The ring of stars on the jumper

An incomplete circle of stars - appropriately modeled by Tom Scully
An incomplete circle of stars – appropriately modeled by Tom Scully

The idea is that each star represents a premiership and form an incomplete circle as the Demons are always striving to complete that circle, always striving to win their next premiership. Clever marketing perhaps and all good in theory but maybe striving for their next win would be more realistic. A stark reminder too of Melbourne’s inablty to develop any “stars” despite all the first round draft picks. Given the Dees last flag was in 1964 I don’t think the embroiderer is going to be busy anytime soon.


What they should do

Simplify the AFL fixture by having consistent and predictable start times.

The only timeslot that is ‘fixed’ currently are twilight games that start at 4.40pm on both Saturday & Sunday. The rest of the start times are all over the shop. Afternoon fixtures start at 1.45pm & 2.10pm on Saturdays but 1.10pm and 3.20pm on Sundays. Night games start at 7.50pm on Fridays if in Melbourne but 8.40pm if in Adelaide or Perth. Saturday night games in all states start at 7.40pm EST.

Keep it simple AFL.

Start all games at 10 past the hour or half hour

Afternoon matches to be played at 1.40pm with a ‘late’ afternoon game on Sundays starting at 3.10pm to appease Channel 7’s wishes.

Keep twilight fixtures at a 4.40pm start.

Night games to start at 7.40pm EST except Perth games which it makes sense to start at 8.40pm EST.




VFL watch

Port Melbourne travelled to Box Hill City Oval to atone for their capitulation to Werribee last week . In a sea sawing battle that went right down to the wire Port got over the line by 4 points. A couple of players to look out for from Port are Josh Scipione with 4 goals, Mitch Wooffindon with 36 disposals and the always impeccable, Chris Cain. Although he got through the game for the Box Hill Hawks, Brian Lake would seem to be headed for being a very high paid VFL player this year if his 13 possession performance in this match is anything to go by. His notable contributions on the day consisted of a couple of wrestling matches with Port Melbourne full forward Dean Galea who kicked four goals on Lake. The unusual sight of the day was a trainer spraying the umpires faces with water and towelling them down at the quarter time break. Nothing wrecks decision making like sweat in the eyes.


Reader feedback: Macca’s Friday rant

Carro has called for St James head on a plate.

What is wrong with her? This happens 4-5 times a season. The start of this season has been a cracker – three executions before round 3. Great effort: Schwab, Neeld and now Hird.

“In the interest of the football club [insert coach, administrator or players’ name] must resign.”

Very quick with the trigger. She is the chief football writer who never writes about anything that happens on the field. WTF? Mind you, she might have a point about St James.

The quote

“Does anyone know any good remote control car shops in Adelaide?”

Sam Jacobs via Twitter 12/04

Pretty quiet in Adelaide hey? And who says AFL players have too much time on their hands? Definitely not Sam Jacobs he’s too busy pursuing his radio controlled car hobby. What crazy Adelaide Crows player’s hobbies will we discover on twitter next? Bernie Vince is a mad train spotter? Nathan Van Berlo is besotted with numismatics? Who knows where this could lead!


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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

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